There’s a good portion of anarchists, agorists, libertarians, rebels, and general freedom lovers who believe that voting is not only pointless, but also immoral, unethical, or even anti-thetical to a belief in freedom. The argument generally goes something along the lines of voting “participating in” or “supporting” the corrupt government system. Well, I’ve been an anarchist for the majority of my life and I’ve voted in nearly every election for the last 20 years. in fact, through the wonders of absentee ballots and my position as a live-in caregiver I was able to proudly cast not one, but three votes for Ron Paul over the last week that won’t be actually counted until Super Tuesday on February 5th.
Why do I, someone absolutely opposed to government in any and all of its shapes or forms, vote at all? Self defense.
The government exists solely to decrease my freedom (through oppressive laws) and steal the fruits of my labor (through taxes). Voting twice a year doesn’t allow me to change government in any sort of meaningful way, but it does give me the opportunity to choose the slave master that I feel will be the least oppressive, reduce the level of theft by a tiny amount, and publicly express my desire for more freedom. One of the primary failings of a representative democracy is that the government officials frequently listen to the polling data rather than standing up for their genuine beliefs. Elections are the biggest polls of all. What’s more dangerous? An elected official who feels they have a mandate because they received 75%+ of the votes cast or one who received a slim victory, thus is unsure of his support? I say the latter.
When it comes to politicians I vote Libertarian when I can and against the frontrunner when I can’t. In this way I try to convince the eventual winner that there are many people under their rule who are not in favor it. But the real power comes through the ballot initiatives that populate every California ballot. These are almost always tax measures. And as we all know there’s no such thing as a tax measure that reduces the theft of our labor. Those that aren’t about raising taxes are about reducing liberty (think smoking bans, expansion of eminent domain laws, etc). If everyone who doesn’t vote because they don’t think their vote counts were to vote no against these measures (or have their lack of participation be considered a no vote) then few would ever pass. The result would be more freedom and fewer taxes.
Claim a higher morality all you want, but if you don’t vote to slow the oppression then you’re simply encouraging it to continue.
The Complete Applied Anarchy Series-
- What Is Applied Anarchy?
- Applied Anarchy – One Way I Legally Avoid Taxes
- Applied Anarchy: Financial Security Without Fiat Currency
- Practicing What We Preach
- Applied Anarchy: Why Anarchists Should Vote For Ron Paul
- Applied Anarchy – Parking Meters
- Applied Anarchy – Minimizing Your Income Tax Burden
- Sales Tax and Couponing For Cash
- Applied Anarchy – 12 Steps To Recovery
- Money Makes The World Go Round
- Doing Away With Fiat Currency
- Applied Anarchy – Free Market Health Care
- Applied Anarchy – How Would It Work?
- Applied Anarchy – Listen To Your Kids
- Happy Birthday Comrade Kropotkin!
- The Market Finally Takes Down DRM – Copyright Quivers In Boots
- Pushing The Political Easy Button
- A Call To Arms For Anarchist Bloggers
- Applied Anarchy – Voting As Self-Defense
- Applied Anarchy: Why Taxes Are Theft
- I’m Now A Silver AMPlifier for Free Talk Live!
- Applied Anarchy: You CAN Trust Politicians…
- How The Market Can Enforce Intellectual Property
- Applied Anarchy – Make Freedom A Bestseller
- Why Seek Liberation?